“Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.”
~ Erma Bombeck
Thanksgiving is almost here and that means fun with our families and photo opportunities galore. It’s the perfect time to capture a great photo for our Christmas card.
I’m going to spend the next several weeks writing about things that will help you get that perfect image. You’ll notice that these hints have nothing to do with camera settings, but with thinking about what we want to tell our photo subjects ahead of time so that we can reduce Murphy’s Law.
You remember…Murphy’s Law states that if something can go wrong, it will go wrong. Boy does that apply to our animal photo shoots! So our job is to reduce Murphy’s Law before we make images.
We already know that if we are making a photo with animals, we have to have them well groomed and ready. Obviously the same applies to people shoots, so your Thanksgiving feast will work perfectly because everyone is dressed up and in a holiday mood. Time for photos!
Just as with animal photography, when you are photographing a group of people you need to play director and make sure they know that they need to keep their eyes on you. Nothing ruins a people photograph more than everyone looking away from the camera in a different direction.
Here are two photos that illustrate what I mean.
Sometimes the above happens because someone else is taking photos too, so the subjects aren’t giving you their full attention. Keep reminding them that you are the one to look at, or wait until the other photographers are done and you have their attention.
The other thing to concentrate on when you are posing a group is to be sure they are all close together so that they all receive the same exposure. If you are photographing outside, this isn’t as much of an issue because you are probably using natural light. But inside, with flash, the subjects too close to the camera will be overexposed and the ones too far away will be underexposed. The solution is to make sure they are all close together. So again, put on your movie director hat and have them move in tight. This will also produce a pleasing composition.
Let’s get out our cameras and practice up this week so we’re ready for a great photo shoot during the long Thanksgiving weekend.
More hints next week.